Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My iPhone Says I'm A Slug

I love my iPhone 6 Plus. It's large screen and extended battery life makes it a delight to use. Unfortunately it has one flaw--it's a total nag. Why? Because it reminds me every day how sedentary my life as an anesthesiologist can be.

Anybody who uses iOS 8 has Apple's Health app on their iPhone. The annoying thing about Health app is that it cannot be turned off or deleted. It is always working in the background tracking your every movement. I discovered this a couple of months after getting my new iPhone when I happened to open the Health app out of curiosity. Lo and behold it had counted how many steps I'd been taking and how many stairs I'd climbed every day since I bought the phone.

At first I thought this is great. Who needs to spend extra money on a fitness band when my phone can already track my steps for me. Pretty soon the Health app became an obsession. I started checking it several times a day to see how active I was. Quickly it became clear that my gluteus maximus was supporting more of my body weight than my calfs.

Most days I average a little over 5,000 steps a day. Not great I know. I'm just telling it like it is. But those 5,000 steps are made very episodically. On a long, uneventful case, I discovered I sometimes take as few as 8 steps an hour. EIGHT! I take more steps than that walking from a bathroom stall to a sink. It's really pathetic that sometimes my longest walk of the day is from the doctor's parking lot to the operating room.

Since I do 100% of my own cases I have the luxury (or curse) of being involved in lengthy uninvolving procedures. If I was supervising several CRNA's I'm sure I would add a few thousand more steps to my daily routine. Since I don't, I have forced myself to go back to the gym more regularly. (One more reason why I haven't blogged as regularly recently.) I found out if I run a couple of miles on the treadmill then I will just barely edge past the magical 10,000 steps per day regimen.

Now I'm not so sure I want to get the Apple Watch anymore. I don't need another device to tell me to get up and walk around. One of the main purposes of purchasing the watch is for its fitness tracking functions. But I'm already aggravated by my phone's ceaseless stalking of my daily routines. If I wanted more nagging, I would just stay at home more often.

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